Catholic 02

Genevieve Theresa (Spertini) Vespia

April 1, 1932 ~ January 7, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Genevieve Vespia Obituary

On Sunday, January 7, 2024, Genevieve Theresa Vespia took her last breath, surrounded by her sons and grandchildren. The beloved matriarch of a proud Italian family, Gen was the sun, and we all orbited around her. She was born in1932 in Providence, RI, the daughter of two traditional Italian parents. She was the eldest of three children. Whereas her mother was mild mannered, Gen was a force. 

She had a passion for politics and contributed to many election wins—first as an elementary school campaign manager and later as a member of Rhode Island’s 8th Senatorial District Committee for three terms. Fueled by her love of helping people, Gen served on multiple civic and religious committees in Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood, where she lived throughout her lifetime. She was a fashion icon and talented artist, earning two scholarships to attend classes at Rhode Island School of Design. Her murals decorated the halls of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, and her designs can still be enjoyed in St. Ann Cemetery. Gen graduated from Sweeney business school and, shortly thereafter, took a position at Diocese of Providence’s Catholic Cemetery Office. Later, as receptionist for Thomas Gattone and Son and Woodlawn Funeral Home, Gen supported countless families in their time of need. 

Her life was full and remarkable. But of all the things Gen accomplished, nothing mattered more than her role as a single mother raising three boys. Against all odds, her boys wanted for nothing. She fought for their education and their futures with gusto. Everything they became—lawyer, director of respiratory therapy, loving fathers, and so much more—is because she made it possible. She extended this devotion to her grandchildren, who were shaped by their Nonni’s boundless love. We will see her in every yellow rose. 

Genevieve was the daughter of Daniel Spertini and Eliza (Cantini); and sister of Sylvia Jesser and Louis Spertini, all of whom preceded her in death. She was the mother of three sons: Jim Vespia and partner, Judy Albanese; John “Jackie” Vespia and wife, Kathy Short; and Donald Vespia. She was Nonni to four grandchildren: Dina, Maren, Katie, and Dino; and three great-grandchildren: Dante, Mara, and Olivia. 

Everyone who loved Genevieve is invited to attend her calling hours Thursday, Jan. 11, from 4–7 PM at “WOODLAWN” Funeral Home, 600 Pontiac Ave., Cranston. Her funeral will begin at 8:45am Friday, Jan. 12, from the “WOODLAWN” Funeral Home, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM at Holy Apostles Church, Cranston. Burial will follow at St. Ann Cemetery.

 In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity that makes you think of Genevieve.


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January 11, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Woodlawn Funeral Home
600 Pontiac Ave
Cranston, RI 02910

Mass of Christian Burial
January 12, 2024

10:00 AM
Holy Apostles Church
800 Pippin Orchard Road
Cranston, RI 02921


St. Ann Cemetery, Rhode Island
73 Church Street
Cranston, RI 02920


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